Qualifications and Awards
PhD, La Trobe University, Melbourne, 2000
Dystrophic Muscle Award, Brain Foundation ($40,000) awarded October 2012
University of Queensland Foundation Research Excellence Award ($90,000) awarded September 2008
AK McIntyre Prize, Australian Physiological Society (For excellence in postdoctoral research) awarded 2005
Australian Physiological Society, Member (1996-); Councillor (2012-2014).
Biophysical Society, Member (2001-)
PLoS ONE, Academic Editor (2010-2012)
||Room 301A, Skerman Building (No 65), St Lucia campus
||School of Biomedical Sciences,
The University of Queensland,
BNE, QUEENSLAND 4072
||+61 3365 4301
||+61 3365 1766
I am Senior Lecturer and Head of the Muscle Research Lab at The University of Queensland. I started in late 2006 after finishing my postdoctoral research at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, USA and my PhD at La Trobe University, Melbourne, before that. My research focus has been the physiology of skeletal muscle.
The main interest of the lab is Excitation-Contraction Coupling and Calcium Regulation in Skeletal Muscle. The focus is to understand the mechanisms that (i) control calcium release during activity in muscle, and (ii) maintain calcium homeostasis in skeletal muscle fibres. Within this broad focus, the roles of ion channels, pumps and membrane lipid composition in skeletal muscle physiology are studied. Significant emphasis is given to how properties of the muscle change in disease and other stressed states. To unravel the physiological mechanisms that control skeletal muscle activity, imaging of muscle cell structures and calcium movements are performed.
We are also working with Muscular Dystrophy, Queensland (MDQ). Through MDQ we have gained access to stored muscle biopsies from patients with muscular dystrophy that we can use for biochemical analysis. Our work (physiological characterization) on the mdx mouse, an animal model of muscular dystrophy, is significantly aided by this.
Cully TR, Edwards JN, Friedrich O, Stephenson DG, Murphy RM & Launikonis BS (2012). Changes in plasma membrane Ca-ATPase and stromal interacting molecule 1expression levels for Ca2+
signaling in dystrophic mdx
mouse muscle. Am J Physiol – Cell 303, C567-C576.
Edwards JN, Cully TR, Shannon TR, Stephenson DG & Launikonis BS (2012). Longitudinal and transversal propagation of excitation along the tubular system of rat fast-twitch muscle fibres studied by high speed confocal microscopy. J Physiol 590, 475-492.
Edwards JN, Blackmore DG, Gilbert DF, Murphy RM & Launikonis BS (2011). Store-operated calcium entry remains fully functional in aged mouse skeletal muscle despite a decline in STIM1 protein expression. Aging Cell 10, 675-685.
Launikonis BS, Murphy RM & Edwards JN (2010). Toward the roles of store-operated Ca2+
entry in skeletal muscle. Pflügers Arch 460, 813-823.
Edwards JN, Murphy RM, Cully TR, v. Wegner F, Friedrich O & Launikonis BS (2010) Ultra-rapid activation and deactivation of store-operated Ca2+
entry in skeletal muscle. Cell Calcium 47, 458-467.
• Launikonis BS, Friedrich O & Stephenson DG (2009). Excitation-dependent Ca2+ influx in vertebrate skeletal muscle is in, again. Physiol News 77, 20-21.
Launikonis BS, Stephenson DG & Friedrich O (2009). Rapid Ca2+
flux through the transverse tubular membrane, activated by individual action potentials in mammalian skeletal muscle. J. Physiol. 587, 2299-2312.
& Launikonis BS (2008). The accessibility and interconnectivity of the tubular system in toad skeletal muscle. J. Physiol. 586, 5077-5089.
Launikonis BS & Ríos E (2007). Store-operated Ca2+
entry during intracellular Ca2+
release in mammalian skeletal muscle. J. Physiol. 583, 81-97. Editorial commentary:
Lamb GD (2007). J Physiol 583, 1. Faculty of 1000
evaluation: Must Read.
Launikonis BS, Zhou J, Royer L, Shannon TR, Brum G & Ríos E (2006). Depletion “skraps” and dynamic buffering inside the cellular Ca2+
store. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 103, 2982-2987. Faculty of 1000
Calcium regulation in healthy and dystrophic skeletal muscle National Health and Medical research Council Project Grant, $498,675 (2012-2014).
Muscle fibre excitability and calcium regulation in skeletal muscle of amphibians and mammals Australian Research Council Discovery Project, $340,000 (2011-2013).
Calcium handling in muscular dystrophy from Muscular Dystrophy, Queensland, $100,000 (2010-2013).
PhD and Honours Projects Available:
The role of calcium regulation in the pathophysiology of muscular dystrophy (this project has a full 3 year scholarship available, funded by Muscular Dystrophy, QLD).
The regulation of pH and Ca2+ in skeletal muscle: role in fatigue and disease.
The role of membrane cholesterol in regulating muscle function.
The structural relationship and communication between the organelles of skeletal muscle fibres.